Yesterday, a friend came to me with a financial request. This isn't unusual for me. I've publicly posted about my 25% giving pledge in the past, and my donations are on record with various EA sites, so it's not unusual at all for me to receive emails and facebook requests from people asking for money. I never give to these strangers, of course. My pledge is to give to effective organizations. But friends are a different matter. When friends are in trouble, you should help them.
The problem is that this particular friend has repeatedly needed help. They have repeatedly asked for loans, which I've given them. But they have not been nearly as good at repaying those loans.
In the grand scheme of things, it's not that much money that they've "borrowed" from me. Under $20k, over a period of a decade or so that hasn't been repaid. But, all the same, it is too much for me to go on supporting them like this.
They did not take the news well. I tried to explain my reasoning; I tried to not just say no, but to also explain about how the lack of trust on repayments is the reason for my not loaning them money, and not because I thought ill of them in other respects. In return, I was called vile names. They reminded me of past wrongs I did, saying that I had not changed from those days. They told me how horrible they thought I was, how terrible I was being right now, and how downright mean it was for me to leave them in the lurch like this.
The entire experience has left me feeling rather unwell. I am ashamed to admit that I sent a very small token amount to them. It only incensed them further.
Would the same thing have happened in branches where I had acted differently?